Friday, August 31, 2018

Ellagee for Polish Pickup: Some Thing Has Found Us

Press Sample

We are now one week away from the opening of the September Polish Pickup! The theme for the upcoming opening is Horror Movies, and this should allow plenty of time for packages to be sent out and received by shoppers to enjoy for Halloween. I am a big fan of horror movies, and it is exciting to see this month's brands showing off their creations! For today's blog post, I am sharing the creation designed by Ellagee Polish.

Some Thing Has Found Us starts off with a smokey blue to seafoam to patina shifting base. Added to that is intense lime to gold to copper shifting sparkle. This polish was inspired by the smoky colours of the film Cloverfield.

This polish is gorgeous, and the application is perfection! With just two easy coats, I had full coverage on my nails. I then added in a layer of top coat for added shine, as shown in these photos.

The colour shift within this polish is more obvious with extreme angles and changing in light intensity.

Some Thing Has Found Us will be available for purchase from the Polish Pickup website only when it opens September 7-10. It will retail for $12 per bottle and there is no cap on the number of bottles that will be available for purchase. Please note that all Polish Pickup orders are submitted as a preorder; orders may take up to three weeks to ship out to customers.

The Polish Pickup is monthly shopping experience with a new theme each month selected by fans via vote on the Polish Pickup website. Indie nail polish brands then create a nail polish with their own specific inspiration that fits the theme and made available for purchase on Polish Pickup. Customers are invited to visit the website during the shop opening and purchase as many or as few items as they wish. Once the shop closes, the final tallies are send to makers and polishes are sent to Polish Pickup headquarters. Approximately three weeks after the closing of each shop, orders are shipped to customers.

Get those shopping lists together for next Friday's opening, and don't forget to put Some Thing Has Found Us on your list!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

30 Minutes of Self Care with Oh K! and KBShimmer

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Being a working mom is tough, and while I wouldn't give up my boys for the world, it does substantially cut out my self care time. Once you add it all together: working outside the house, blogging tasks, and taking care of the household in general, my self care time often is left to the scraps of moments I have in the evenings when all I really want to do is pass out after a long day. While sleep is certainly important for self care, I still like to pamper myself from time to time! Earlier this week, I stayed home to get some work done while my boys were off to school. I decided to take a little bit of time for myself for a little tlc. After a mere thirty minutes, I felt ready to take on the world, or at least the week ahead! Let's jump in on this week's self care routine!

I love using sheet masks as they always make my skin feel incredible from the first use. I came across Oh K! while attending Cosmoprof North America and brought home this mask with me. My skin has actually been looking quite well lately with a current skincare regime I am testing out, but it never hurts to add a hydrating mask into the mix!

Containing cucumber juice extract, honeysuckle, aloe, and green tea, this serum-soaked mask is a great treat to calm and soothe stressed-out skin. Simply apply to your face and let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes, remove, and then massage any residual liquid onto the face in a circular motion. I also went a step further and massaged the leftover serum down my neck and onto the backs of my hands.

It's not uncommon for me to attempt to do "stuff" while wearing sheet masks, but this week, I opted to lay low and really relax for my 15 minutes!

Once my time with my sheet mask was up, it was time to move on to other self care routines. I have these beautiful titanium-coated tools from KBShimmer, and I am thrilled to report that not only are the lovely to look at, they work nicely too! KBShimmer made sure to source these from a company that makes medical grade tools along with beauty products, so you can be confident in their quality.

I'm not a fan of waxing my eyebrows, and the slant tip tweezers plucked my stray hairs perfectly. If your concern is baby fine hair or if you have a pesky ingrown hair, the fine tip tweezers get the job done.

Once my eyebrows were cleaned up, I then moved on to my nails. The cuticle nippers are great at removing hang nails, although mine have been most useful for trimming my nail vinyls!

My self care routine ended with gently pushing back my cuticles with the Dual Ended Cuticle Pusher. While one side is shaped perfectly to fix up the cuticles, the other has a pointed end that allows you to clean up your nails.

It is so easy to focus on what needs to be done and push self care aside, but I strongly encourage you to determine how to best pamper yourself with your own specific time and budget constraints. Self care is important to reduce the negative effects that stress has on the body and is good for both your physical and mental state. This post shows some of my ways of taking care of myself.

Oh, and I don't recommend eating anything that may be contaminated with the serum from the sheet mask- it tastes terrible! This last photo is just me being silly and not recommended.

How have you taken care of yourself lately? What are your favorite techniques?

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Banana Without a Care: Body Boom Coffee Scrub

Press Sample

Boom boom boom (Gotta Get That)
Boom boom boom (Gotta Get That)...

Now that we have gotten that out of the way (and the song in everyone's heads), let's get to today's blog post!

There was a time I thought my beauty addictions were rather limited, but the more I try, the greater variety of products I love using. While my love of cosmetics has spanned my entire life, a new obsession for me is body scrubs. I'm not sure if it's because my skin is getting a little older with each passing day and it appreciates the exfoliation, or if it's the extra blissful uninterrupted minutes in my day that I enjoy; whatever the case, scrubs have become a way of life for me!

While I have used scrubs made with sugar, crushed nut shells, or exfoliating beads, I was recently introduced to a world of coffee-based sugar scrubs. I admit I initially balked at the idea of using perfectly good coffee that could be used to keep me alert after many a sleepless night, but the more I thought about it, the concept started to win me over. I like the idea of using a natural product in general, and caffeine is reported to reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks. While I may like my single dimple on my face, the dimples on my thighs and backside are not cute and are not-so-affectionately referred to as Satan's Hell Spawn (not to be confused with my own adorable Hellspawn, just so we're on record). While the results may be temporary, you can sign me up!

While my expertise on coffee in scrubs is limited, I do know there are several companies that offer this type of product. One such company is Body Boom. I came across the brand while at Cosmoprof North America, and I was sent home a sample of their scrub to try out.

Developed and manufactured in Poland, Body Boom's coffee scrubs are made with  high quality Robusta coffee. Added to the coffee is a rich blend of almond, macadamia and argan oils alongside vitamin E to moisturize, smooth, and nourish the skin. There are 11 scent varieties to choose from, and as you can see, I tested out the Banana scented coffee scrub.

When I first scrubbed the coffee grounds onto my skin, I immediately noticed how soft it was making my skin feel! The little bumps on the backs of my arms disappeared almost instantaneously and my skin just felt so good overall.

While I did experience positives from this scrub, there were a couple not-so-great things I wanted to mention as they may influence your purchasing decision. I love bananas and eat one almost every day. That said, the banana fragrance in this coffee scrub smells synthetic and is something I personally am not a fan of. The combination of the fake banana with the scent of coffee wasn't the worst thing ever, but I was not a fan. Perhaps you love it, and by all means, please don't let this stop you from trying it out, but that is a turn off for me. Obviously I only got to try the one scent, so I can offer no feedback on the other scents.

Another issue for me with this scrub was the removal of the coffee grounds from my skin. With this particular combination of oils, or at least in the ratios used, the coffee grounds really clung to my skin, and I had to do some serious scrubbing to actually get them off. In the process, my skin went from a smooth, slightly oiled feeling to just feeling sticky; at one point I was questioning whether or not I would be sporting coffee grounds for the day! I ended up having to use my loofah with hot soapy water to get the grounds off. By the time I was coffee ground-free, my skin just didn't feel as soft as I was forced to strip it of the moisturizing oils mixed in with the grounds. While I greatly appreciated the overall smooth factor this left my skin, I was hoping to retain some of the nourishing effects after rinse off.

While I received a small sample sized pouch, Body Boom coffee scrubs are sold in larger 200g packages. This package size is sufficient for up to 15 uses, and they recommend using the scrub 2-3 times a week.

I have mixed feeling about this product after trying out my sample. While it did leave my skin feeling smoother overall, I personally cannot get over the combination of fake banana and coffee scent. While there are other scents that are more suited to my taste, the difficulty I had with removing this scrub from my skin makes me question if it would be the same experience all over again, with just a different fragrance of course. Both of these points may be non-issues for you, and if that is the case, I don't want to dissuade you from trying out Body Boom coffee scrubs. I just know that this particular product just isn't for me.

Have you tried a Body Boom coffee scrub, or one of their other products? I'd love to hear about your experience with the brand! I'm curious if my issue with coffee clinginess is a common occurrence or if it is just an issue with my specific body chemistry.

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Beauty from Down Under: BYS Cosmetics Peach Eyeshadow Palette and Loose Glitter

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! I hope you weekend was fabulous and this week has fun things in store for you. I wanted to start off this week with another set of products I brought home with me from last month's Cosmoprof North AmericaBYS Cosmetics is one of the cosmetic brands I visited, and I must say, they stole my heart right away.

Based in Australia, this brand offers quality products at an affordable price, and they are definitely one of my favorite finds from this year's show! From the colourful packaging to the gorgeous pigmentation, my breath was stolen away with each swatch I did of the testers they had out on the showroom floor. Let's jump in and get a closer look at the products I brought home with me!

Let's just be real here: those that are really into makeup have seen similar peach-themed palettes from other brands. After all, brands create products in shades that sell, and these peachy hues are really lovely when it comes to makeup looks in general. If I may take out the colours for a moment and draw your attention to two other reasons to pay attention to this palette over others: the twelve shadows come in a sleek metal tin that snaps closed for a secure seal and the price is only $14.95 AUD ($11.57 US). Oh yes, this is undoubtably an affordable palette! But what about the colours? 

The 12 eye shadows are a nice mix of both matte and metallic finishes, and they are definitely pigmented. Colour is easily picked up with my brushes, but they are not powdery and making a mess all over the rest of my palette. I've also not had issues of fall out when applying these to my eyes, a feature I can appreciate as I often do my face makeup first and don't like having fall out to clean up!

I've worn this palette several times since I got home, and this is one of my favorite looks I've done.

Halo eyeshadow looks are so pretty, and the pinks and light peach hues in the palette pair together so perfectly for this look!

If you're in the market for a peach and pink palette with these sorts of colours, I definitely recommend this eyeshadow palette. The colours are gorgeous, and to be frank, I have found the quality to be just as good, if not better, than many brands that cost over four times as much.

In addition to the Peach Palette, I brought home a set of gold glitters to test out. Retailing for $7.95 AUD ($6.10 US), the set includes fine gold glitter, medium sized hexagon-shaped glitters, and a tube of Glitter Fix Primer.

When I first received this particular product, I was very unsure as to how I wanted to use it. While I where some shimmery eyeshadows, it is very unusual for me to wear straight glitter unless I'm attending a costume party or an event for Halloween. I knew I wanted to do something other than applying these on top of my eyelids, and rather than waiting for October to come around, I opted to go outside my normal comfort zone with these. Check out the look I created with these below!

I used both sizes of glitters on this look to add a little more dimension. While this isn't my typical kind of look, I actually really love the way this came out!

In addition to the glitter set, I also utilized shades from the Peach eyeshadow palette that I did not use in my previous look so you could see more of the shade option in use.

I was a little wary of these glitters, especially since the Glitter Fix Primer never really felt like it got tacky prior to applying the glitters. In spite of that, the glitters clung to my skin and stayed in place all day until I removed them myself with soap and water.

My five year old was watching me take pictures and requested I take a "silly face" photo for my blog. This is his favorite one, so I'm including it here just for him! Don't let this photo fool you- I have really liked trying out these products from BYS Cosmetics and have been thoroughly impressed by my experience with the brand! Those in Australia can purchase directly from the brand; international shoppers can check out their distributor list to find their best supplier. US customers can purchase BYS Cosmetics products from While not all products are on the site, there are still many things to choose from. There are so many beautiful products from the brand so I'm hoping to see more come to the site. With such an affordable price tag, you can create all the beautiful looks you want without breaking the bank!

Have you tried any products from BYS Cosmetics? What products would you be most interested in trying? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

If you're a fan of vintage style and if you want or need new high quality beauty tools, Never Say Die Beauty says you must check out The Vintage Cosmetic Company's Your Beauty Tools set, now sold at JC Penney. Not only are they super cute, they are high quality and so well designed! 

Prime Beauty is obsessed with the new Anastasia Norvina Eyeshadow Palette. The shades are beautifully unique, work well together and make eyes sparkle!

Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme, which Lola's Secret Beauty Blog is obsessed with, is a wonderfully nourishing moisturizer that melts into the skin and leaves it soft, smooth, supply, bouncy and hydrated. Furthermore, the rosewater aroma is intoxicatingly beautiful, and such a treat to the senses. #Herbivore

Does the busy back-to-school routine have you feeling worn out? Try Pammy Blogs Beauty's Nighttime Pampering Beauty Routine!

RealHer Makeup was created to empower women with inspiring affirmations on all their products. Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour has reviewed several of the brand’s items to help you pick out your new go-to favorites.

Christa from Realizing Beauty wants to know, What Makes Someone Beautiful? It's not what you think!

Sally Hansen has been marveling us with new collections lately. Come see Marcia's favorite on Beauty Info Zone along with 2 other Sally Hansen beauties.

Beauty blogger Kate Loves Makeup shares her top picks for the surprise Sephora sale!

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Grains for Your Hair: Biotop Professional's 911 Hair Products + Giveaway!

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers! It has been quite a week, and I am sitting here wondering if Friday will ever get arrive and just let it be time for the weekend already. It's not that there is anything special planned for the weekend; this week has just been long and tiring for everyone in my household. Thankfully it is just about here! Now on to today's post!

First of all, I would like to thank those of you that commented on my Cosmoprof North America Boutique post about the content you would be interested in reading after the show! There is certainly a range of interests including makeup, skin care, and hair care products, and I'll be sure to have it all up here on the blog. For those of you most interested in skin care, please keep in mind I like to try skin care products for at least a month before writing my reviews, preferably a little longer, so while they will be coming, they'll have to be spread out and will just take some time as I don't want to double up on testing products. After all, I need to feel confident where the results I (hopefully) see are coming from. Until then, we can jump in on a few other things!

One of the brands I visited with was Biotop Professional, and I was provided with a few samples from their 911 line containing quinoa.

Quinoa Hair Mask
This mask is a special treatment designed for dry, damaged hair due to chemical treatments and/or dryness cause by the weather. It penetrates the hair shaft, leaving your hair soft, shiny, and increases hair elasticity. Simply apply to damp hair after shampooing, leave on for 3-5 minutes (7-10 minutes for damaged hair) and then rinse away.

Quinoa Serum
Is your hair dry, damaged, or fragmented? This serum helps to treat and prevent split ends all while adding a glossy luster to your hair. It can be applied to damp hair before blow drying for a smooth, sleek look or before air drying for a frizz-free finish. It can also be applied to dry hair if preferred.

Quinoa All In One
If you're looking for the master product that can do it all for your hair, the Quinoa All In One is for you! Applied to dry hair, it serves as a hair mask that repairs and rehabilitates dry, damaged hair. Whether your needs include treating split ends, detangling hair, protecting coloured hair from fading, or protecting your hair from straightening, this product has you covered!

I have been using all three of these products since I brought them home, and I have really been enjoying them. I particularly love how shiny my hair looks after using the Quinoa Serum, and it doesn't leave a oily finish that weighs down my hair. The Quinoa All In One is another favorite, and I've been using it prior to running the flat iron through my hair. While the only way to permanently treat split ends is to cut them off, these products do help minimize the appearance between hair cuts. Perhaps more importantly, they are able to prevent currently split end damage from getting worse in addition to preventing split ends in the first place.

Rather than keeping my second sample bottles of Quinoa Hair Mask and Quinoa All In One to myself, I decided to give them away to one of you! It is open internationally to participants age 18 years and older. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful evening!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Circus Illusion-Inspired Nail Art with Zoya Element Collection

Press Sample

As I was driving home from some errand one day last week, I spotted a series of circus tents in colourful blues, purples, and pinks. While I am not a fan of circuses that include animals in their acts, there is something about the illusions that still intrigue me. I never did make it to the circus before it closed up and left town, nor am I sure whether or not this particular one keeps any animals, but I could not get the overall idea and colours out of my mind. I recently received the Zoya Element Collection for Fall 2018 in the mail; I knew I had to use several shades from it for a circus-themed look. Check it out below!

For my circus-inspired look, I wanted to focus on the two aspects that I like the most- illusion and the colourful tents. The colourful tent aspect should be apparent already as I used the simple striping pattern often seen in tents.

The illusion aspect was a little more complex for me to wrap my head around, but in the end, I opted to go with a negative space stamped design. The idea is that the stamped image obscures what it really there (the negative space).

While this isn't my favorite nail art design, it was nice sporting the beautiful colours in a design that is a little different for me. Sure, I stamp my nails, occasionally sport negative manicures, and I certainly enjoy stripes, but combining them all together like this is certainly not my normal.

Zoya Element shades used:

I also used MoYou London's Arabesque Collection - 01 stamping plate.

Have you picked up any shades from the new Element Collection? What sort of nail art have you been enjoying lately? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Monday, August 20, 2018

RealHer Makeup: Giving You the Confidence to Be Your Best You!

I have been wearing some kind of makeup since I was about three years old. I was too young to remember any of the details, but my aunt had apparently purchased one of those slightly tinted makeup wax kits for me when I was young as a gift, and I have been hooked on the stuff ever since. Whether I just want to conceal a blemish, amp up a key feature, or go all out with a glam look, makeup has always been there to suit my needs.

It can be hard to be a woman in this world, with society's image of what is "beautiful" putting pressure on us to look a certain way. Society has created the ideal perfect look, and imperfections or deviations from the ideal are far too frequently viewed as unattractive. It's quite disheartening to see someone unable to fully embrace their own uniqueness, and it was the philosophy of RealHer Makeup that caught my attention. Created by a father in honor of his daughter, RealHer Makeup's mission is to inspire and bring out the best in the modern woman with affirmations on each of the products. With a quick swipe of colour over your lips, RealHer has set out to remind you just how awesome you really are! In addition to giving the wearer confidence in themselves, 20% of purchase proceeds are then donated to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and The LGBT Center of Orange County. I love companies that give back to the community, and I just had to pick up several products to try out! Let's jump in and check out these beauties!

Confidence In My Glow

RealHer currently has three different highlighters in their product lineup. I picked up Confidence In My Glow, and it is first up for review.
 Confidence In My Glow is a warm rose gold hue. Buttery soft, this applies to a smooth finish on the high points of the face and gives of the most beautiful glow! You can use a lighter hand and have a more natural look, or you can build it up for a more intense look. That being said, if you prefer super blingy highlighters with lots of sparkle, this highlighter may not be for you. The finish is quite smooth as it does not contain any additional small glitters like some highlighters do. While I do like the bright highlighters from time to time,  Confidence In My Glow is more my style for an every day look.

Retail: $25

Do Your Squats
RealHer Play Book Eyeshadow Palette

RealHer Makeup also has three different eyeshadow palettes at this time (this is my not-so-subtle hint that there are two more coming soon; I saw both at Cosmoprof North America and they are gorgeous!); I picked up the palette in Do Your Squats because everyone needs a good neutral to warm brown palette on their makeup vanity. I love playing with colour, but when I have to get up early to get ready for work, I prefer these types of colours as I can get them on and blended quickly. But how does this palette look and perform?

I found all nine of these shades to have nice pigmentation, (although the lightest is really close to my skin tone) and I was happy to see that there wasn't a lot of product kicking up when I would dab my brushes into the pans. Yes, these are still powders so some extra does come up, but for the most part, the shadows would stick to my brushes until blended out onto my eyes. I was impressed that these shadows would stay all day on me, something that sadly doesn't happen as often as I would like with my hooded, oily eyelids. This palette certainly leans on the warmer side, so it may not appeal to some readers, but RealHer does have a cooler option that you like more!

Retail: $28

I Am Awesome
Lip Kit

RealHer Makeup certainly seems to think the best things in life comes in threes, and who am I to argue? There are three lip kit options with each kit containing three items: a lip liner, a liquid lipstick, and a lipgloss. The I Am Awesome kit is RealHer's nude set.

Lip liner: I Love Myself
I admittedly don't wear lip liners often, and a large part of that is because I have used so many that are just uncomfortably hard. I am happy to report that I Love Myself is smooth and creamy. It applies so easily to the lips. Because it is a little softer, I like to put it in the freezer to harden it some before sharpening. This is my trick for all my sharpen-able pencils, actually!

Lip gloss: I Am Awesome
I don't know about you, but I am so glad to see lip glosses making a come back! I love to use them both by themselves and on top of other lip products! I Am Awesome adds a great touch of shiny colour to the lips. Other then the occasional windy day blowing my hair into my face, I haven't really noticed any major stickiness that sometimes comes with lip glosses.

Matte Liquid Lipstick: I Am Perfect
I'm generally not too crazy about liquid matte lipsticks in general because they are usually too drying for my taste, but I was surprised with this one. It dries down to a matte finish pretty quickly, and while yet, it is drier than a cream lipstick, it never felt uncomfortably dry for me. I was also impressed with how even the coverage is, especially for a lighter nude colour. My experience with this type of shade has been very uneven and patchy, but this one was quite nice from just the first swipe. Some areas needed a little touching up to even out on my lips, but that was pretty minimal.

Retail: $36

Girl Power - Deep Mauve
Moisturizing Lipstick

Since I was already picking up the other lip trio, I figured why not try out one of the Moisturizing Lipsticks as well. With 12 options to choose from, I went with the beautiful Girl Power in a Deep Mauve shade.

 While this might look like a traditional oil-based lipstick, the Moisturizing Lipstick line includes something different than usual: encapsulated water! After you apply this lipstick to your lips, the encapsulated water is slowly released to add more moisture to your lips.

I don't know if I have the words to even describe just how much I love this lipstick! The formula is ultra creamy and just feels good on the lips, and this colour is perfection! While I have worn all the products in this post many times, I keep grabbing for this lipstick the most no matter what other products I am wearing on my face.

Retail: $18

I've really had fun using these products and have had a lot of fun mixing and matching them with other product brands in my makeup collection. That said, I wanted to share a look I created using these specifically. Check it out!

Capturing the highlighter glow with my camera isn't my strong suit, but I love this photo since it shows the glow from Confidence In My Glow on both my cheekbones and under the arch of my eyebrows.

Here is the Do Your Squads eyeshadow palette. As you can see, it definitely is a warmer palette, and this look is actually warmer than what I wear regularly on my eyes. It's still quite pretty!

Since I purchased multiple lip products from RealHer Makeup, I couldn't quite wear them all in one look. For this look, I am using the I Love Myself lip liner, Girl Power Moisturizing Lipstick, and a quick coat of I Am Awesome lip gloss.

Have you tried any products from RealHer Makeup? I've really enjoyed the lineup I tried for this post, and I have my eye on a few more things. I'd love to hear your suggestions if you have any!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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